Intellectual Life in the Ḥijāz before Wahhabism

Ibrāhīm al-Kūrānī’s (d. 1101/1690) Theology of Sufism


In Intellectual Life in the Ḥijāz before Wahhabism, Naser Dumairieh argues that, as a result of changing global conditions facilitating the movement of scholars and texts, the seventeenth-century Ḥijāz was one of the most important intellectual centers of the Islamic world, acting as a hub between its different parts.
Positioning Ibrāhīm al-Kūrānī (d. 1101/1690) as representative of the intellectual activities of the pre-Wahhabism Ḥijāz, Dumairieh argues that his coherent philosophical system represents a synthesis of several major post-classical traditions of Islamic thought, namely kalām and Akbarian appropriations of Avicennian metaphysics. Al-Kūrānī’s work is the culmination of the philosophized Akbarian tradition; with his reconciliation of Ibn ʿArabī’s ideas with Ashʿarī theology, Ibn ʿArabī’s ideas became Islamic theology.

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Naser Dumairieh, Ph.D. (2018) McGill University, is a researcher in post-classical Islamic philosophy and the relationship between Sufism and theology. He has published critical editions and articles related to the intellectual history of the pre-Wahhabism Ḥijāz, including a critical edition of al-Barzanjī’s al-Jādhib al-ghaybī, and another book entitled Sufism in the Ḥijāz before Wahhabism is in progress.

Introduction: When All Roads Led to the Ḥijāz

1 The Seventeenth-Century Ḥijāz in Its Global and Local Context
 1 The Seventeenth-Century Ḥijāz in its Global Context
 2 The Seventeenth-Century Ḥijāz in its Local Context
 3 Conclusion

2 Intellectual Life in the Ḥijāz in the Seventeenth Century
 1 Educational Institutions in the Ḥijāz in the Seventeenth Century
 2 Rational Sciences in the Ḥijāz
 3 Isnād as a Source for Intellectual Life in the Seventeenth-Century Ḥijāz
 4 How the Rational Sciences Reached the Ḥijāz
 5 Conclusion

3 Ibrāhīm al-Kūrānī’s Life, Education, Teachers, and Students
 1 Al-Kūrānī’s Life
 2 Al-Kūrānī’s Education
 3 Al-Kūrānī’s Teachers
 4 Al-Kūrānī’s Contacts with Other Scholars of His Time
 5 Al-Kūrānī’s Students
 6 Al-Kūrānī’s Affiliation to Sufi Orders
 7 Conclusion

4 Al-Kūrānī’s Works
 1 Al-Kūrānī’s Works (Examined)
 2 Al-Kūrānī’s Works (Inaccessible)
 3 Works Misattributed to al-Kūrānī
 4 Conclusion

5 Al-Kūrānī’s Metaphysical and Cosmological Thought
 1 God is Absolute Existence (al-wujūd al-muṭlaq or al-wujūd al-maḥḍ)
 2 God’s Attributes and Allegorical Interpretation (taʾwīl)
 3 God’s Manifestations in Sensible and Conceivable Forms
 4 Nafs al-amr in al-Kūrānī’s Thought
 5 Ashʿarites and Mental Existence
 6 Realities: Uncreated Nonexistent Quiddities
 7 God’s Knowledge of Particulars
 8 Creation
 9 Unity and Multiplicity
 10 Destiny and Predetermination
 11 Kasb: Free Will and Predestination
 12 The Unity of the Attributes (waḥdat al-ṣifāt)
 13 Waḥdat al-Wujūd
 14 Conclusion

6 Al-Kūrānī’s Other Theological and Sufi Thought
 1 The Faith of Pharaoh
 2 The Precedence of God’s Mercy and the Vanishing of the Hellfire (fanāʾ al-nār)
 3 Satanic Verses
 4 Preference for the Reality of the Kaʿba or for the Muḥammadan Reality
 5 God’s Speech (kalām Allāh)
 6 Conclusion


Appendix 1: Al-Kūrānī’s Teachers, Additional to Those Mentioned in the Text
Appendix 2: Al-Kūrānī’s Students, Additional to Those Mentioned in the Text
Appendix 3: Al-Kūrānī’s Works Ordered Alphabetically
All interested in post-classical Islamic thought, the relationship of Islamic theology and Sufism, Ibn ʿArabī, the study of the Wahhabi movement, and the history of the Ḥijāz and the Ottoman era.
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